Four Jayhawks named Academic All-Big 12

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four Kansas men’s golfers have been named Academic All-Big 12 as the conference released the 2019 Academic All-Big 12 teams Thursday. Senior Charlie Hillier, sophomore Ben Sigel, junior Andy Spencer were each named first team selections, while redshirt-sophomore Drew Shepherd earned second-team honors.

“Really happy for all four of them,” Head coach Jamie Bermel said. “We expect them to do well on the golf course and in the class room and that is very difficult at times. All four of them have worked hard and done well in both areas.”

In order to earn the first-team Academic All-Big 12 title, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative GPA over 3.20 all while participating in a minimum of 20 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Second-team honorees maintain between a 3.00 to 3.19 cumulative GPA. The Kansas foursome marks the fifth-straight year there have been at least four Jayhawks named Academic All-Big 12.

For Hillier, this recognition marks the third time in his four years with the Kansas program that he has received first-team honors. He is the eighth Jayhawk since 1997 to receive the honor at least three times in his career. The liberal arts major from Te Puke, New Zealand, receives the honor less than one month after winning his first collegiate tournament after four seasons with the Jayhawks. Hillier has also been one of the most consistent Jayhawks on the course all season as well, being the Kansas top individual performer in three tournaments this season. He ties his younger brother, sophomore Harry Hillier, for that statistic. His 71.10 round average also leads the team this season.

The other Jayhawk that comes in having claimed this honor in the past is Spencer, who was a first-team honoree last season. The business finance major from Leawood, Kansas, is in his third season with the Jayhawks and is one of only three players to compete in all eight events this season. His five rounds in the 60s are tied for third best on the team and he was the top finisher at the Big 12 Match Play Championship last fall.

As for Sigel, this is the first time he has received the first-team honor in his short collegiate tenure. The sports management major from Deephaven, Minnesota, has been one of the steadiest competitors for the Jayhawks this season, joining Spencer as one of the three Jayhawks to compete in all eight tournaments thus far. Sigel’s nine rounds at or below par this season are fourth best on the team entering the final stretch of the 2018-19 season.

Shepherd has competed in six of Kansas’ eight events this season. The business finance major from Chicago is tied for fourth place at The Jackrabbit back in September after finishing the tournament 3-under.